Lecturers at the University of Education Winneba (UEW) have rejected a strike declared by the mother association of university lecturers, University Teachers Association of Ghana.
The strike by UTAG, effective Monday, September 18 is to solidarise with UEW after the Vice-Chancellor Professor Mawutor Avoke, and the Chief Finance Officer were barred by a court from carrying out their duties.
The court injunction followed a suit brought by a private citizen challenging the constitutionality of the university’s governing council.
The university’s Pro-Vice Chancellor has been directed to act.
But National UTAG President and lecturer at the University of Ghana Dr Harry Agbanu has described the court ruling as an “attack on academic freedom” by external forces.
UEW was expected to start the strike while other campuses across the country join in on Monday, September 18.
The local president of UTAG at the UEW, Dr Samuel Bekoe said the legal tussle at the governing council does not make the campus conducive for teaching and learning.
“We are staying out of the lecture room until two of the [suspended] officers are brought back and also, hands stay off completely from our private fund and investment” he has said.
But his call does not enjoy complete support of all lecturers. Three of them who spoke to Joy News in an interview with Daniel Dadzie described the call as unnecessary.
Dr Isaac Brako, Dr Antwi Danso and Dr Damson insisted “we are not on strike”.
“The reasons for the strike defies logic”, Dr Brako condemned the action. Although UTAG communicates with local chapter of UEW executives, the lecturers say they feel disrespected by the national executives after failing to directly consult them.
They say none of the national executives has visited UEW to get firsthand information about the situation on their campuses.
They say UTAG cannot declare a strike on television and simply send text messages to lecturers.
Dr Antwi-Danso was more forceful in condemning the strike saying it is as lawless as the verbal attack of some NDC firebrands on judges last year.
In that Montie 3 case, partisan activists who disagreed with a court ruling, proceeded to threaten the judges on radio and were later convicted of criminal contempt.
Dr Antwi-Danso linked the behaviour of the NDC activists to the current UTAG national executives explaining, ” you can’t go on strike to reverse a court decision”
He said the court case cannot form a basis for a strike because the mandate of UTAG is to improve the welfare of lecturers.
The legal wrangling between the governing council of the university and a plaintiff does not constitute a welfare issue, he pointed out.
The strike, he said, is ” just for their parochial interest”.
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiahfirstname.lastname@example.org